Monday, February 28, 2011

How to Make Ice Cream with the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker

As promised, I now share with you the recipes for the home made ice cream I made last week.

1. Vanilla Ice Cream

And here's the recipe and instructions that I took from KitchenAid recipe book (that came with the ice cream maker)...

Well, that's just the recipe and the process to make the batter. The easy part unfortunately. First and foremost, you need to put the ice cream maker's freeze bowl for at least 15 hours in the very back of your freezer (I think I kept mine for more than that as I kept losing track of time...hehehe). This is a bit of a challenge as I can hardly find empty spaces in my fridge as I cook everyday and have to keep the fridge well stocked with all kinds of meat for my own convenience. Eager to make ice cream, I implemented a stock reduction plan and eventually found enough space in the freezer.

As soon as I was free, one morning last week, I made the batter. Trying to be clever and energy-efficient if I might add, I thought I could make 2 batches with the one freeze bowl (more on that later).

2. Caramel Pecan Ice Cream (as well!)

Here's the original recipe...

Being greedy and wanting more out of the seemingly plain recipe, I added my own ingredients to satisfy myself. More nuts (macadamias) and white chocolate was added to the mix. Mmmmm...yummy. You can imagine how nice it was when every single spoon that melted in our mouths were filled with those added nuts and chocolate without having to fight with your other half as to who gets the most chunks in their portion of the ice cream. With home made ice cream, every portion, scoop and spoonful of ice cream is equal. All of them equally nutty!

Oh, and don't forget the additional caramel and chocolate fudge syrup especially for me. Hehehehe.

OK, back to the process itself. When the batter is ready, you have to chill it in the fridge for at least 6 hours. As for my other clever thought, I assumed that since the weather here is cold enough and all the milk and cream came straight from the fridge anyway, why should I need to wait that long? So, after more or less 2 hours I was ready to assemble and use my new ice cream maker.

After about 15 to 20 minutes the batter gets thicker and creamier. Then, it goes back in the fridge for about another extra hour (6 in individual small plastic moulds and a portion in one big container). Long before the ice cream hardened properly, my kids kept screaming for it.

Tadaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..... and not surprisingly, it only lasted for the day as all of us had seconds.

Oh, I continued and repeated the same process next morning for my mmm...gorgeously yummy Caramel, pecan, macadamia andwhite chocolate ice cream.

Note: You can't make another batch of ice cream using only one freeze bowl at the one go. The frozen gel inside the bowl will melt away soon after finishing off on the first batch, no matter how quickly I tried. Wait patiently and you will be repaid generously!

My own version when eating ice cream, lot's of chocolate sprinkle and chocolate fudge sauce.....
Do you think it's worth it especally with all the expensive ingredients and the long process involved? Well it depends. For my own satisfaction, for fun and just to make your kids proud, it's Priceless. I'll definitely be doing it again...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ice Cream Maker by KitchenAid

Remember when I got my KitchenAid stand mixer in early December, long before the Christmas sales? Well, on top of the voucher my husband got, I managed to get an extra 10% off the original retail price by signing-up for the store loyalty card. Eager to try out the machine, within just weeks after buying the mixer, I made lots of buns and all sorts of bread non-stop. After a while, I began to think there was a problem with my KitchenAid mixer.

I was starting to get awfully worried as my mixer was making lots of funny clicking noises. The mixer's head also kept on moving weirdly. I Googled and asked a few people including TTM (who has one herself) regarding the problem. Thankfully, it's quite normal and maybe because of all the heavy duty jobs that I've been working on the mixer. But, just to completely satisfy myself, (after all my husband did spend quite a large amount of money on the thing) I went back to the store after Christmas, dragging all 15 kilos of pink cast iron with me.

While waiting for the KA representative, something caught my attention. A KA sign at the store read: Buy a Mixer and get an Ice Cream Maker for FREE (worth €100) + 10% off the retail price. The deal applied to everyone and was not just exclusive to members of the store (hardcore shoppers that lot).


I was devastated. Not that I wanted the ice cream maker so much but it was free. Who wouldn't want that especially since it originally costs €100. If only my husband and I had waited a couple of weeks to buy the mixer. My husband did try to console me with the fact that had we waited, I could have easily missed out on the opportunity to get the mixer in the colour I want - pink, naturally.

Not one to be daunted by silly department store "rules", after talking about my problem with the KA rep (which turned to be OK, as expected), I tried my luck and mentioned that I had just bought my mixer a few weeks earlier and should have waited (with a very disappointed face...awww), blaaa...blaaa...blaaa... To my surprise the lady simply said,

Emmm...don't worry. To make it worth your trip to the store today, I'll sort you with something...

And, as soon as she finished her sentence, she had a KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker packed away for me...for FREE. Yay!!! Well, she definitely just made my day.

Now, to be honest,  I just managed to open the box and use the ice cream maker this week. Bear in mind though, I needed a very big, spacious and empty space in the freezer plus some long hours for the process to even start (I'll let you know all the details in my next post). But for now, I'll just share with you the pictures of  what I made this week.

Very Creamy Plain Vanilla Ice Cream for the kids (Ameera's favourite):


Caramel, Pecan, Macadamia and White Chocolate Ice Cream

for the two of us...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Goodies from Aussie

What a nice bright morning today but, temperatures are still cold. Anyway, I almost missed hearing the door bell ring as I was in the kitchen. I took a peek out the window and saw the post van right outside the house and was right on time to catch Mr. Postman just as he was about to slip in the "I was here but you weren't" note into the mail slot. My efforts were rewarded as I was handed a big parcel. This time, the package was from Oz. No mystery as to who this one was from. Thank You Mak Cik Jat!

I just couldn't wait for the kids to come back from school so I took a peek...hehehe. Yay! And there was something for me too...I didn't take a pic of my present as it was quickly placed in the kitchen already, ready to be put into action.

The kids were so excited and very happy to get pressies especially from their beloved auntie. Husayn just doesn't want to share his with anyone and kept on screaming as soon as his brother got anywhere near him and his presents.

Thanks again Makcik Jat. We  you so much. Please go ahead with your plans to visit us here again!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The NDMNS Impromptu Cake Sale: A Great Success

It was raining that morning. But that didn't stop all the participating mothers (especially all the mak-mak Arab) to bring all sorts of food for the sale that day.

As always, Ameera requested that I make chocolate cupcakes for the project so, I baked some for the school the night before. I can safely say that it was a hit for the kids. I probably had an unfair advantage because the cuppies had such colourful decoration. I should have made more.

Anyway, the kids enjoyed the whole buying experience. The funny part was, some of them (the younger kids) would ask me how much the cost of the cakes or cookies were and when I mentioned the price (let's say 50 cents), they replied that it was OK and that they didn't have enough money just because she/he didn't have the exact amount e.g. they had one €1 coin instead. Being eager to sell all the food, I called them back and said that it was OK. They took the cakes straight away and didn't even think twice when I handed them their change. It's quite hard to explain to 20 kids at the same time but it worked! Hehehe...

To conclude, despite being a last-minute thing and the fact that it was raining, the cake sale was a great success. We managed to earn €365.78 for the school that day alone. We need that kind of money for the benefit of the children and the school. Thank you to everyone that contributed and helped. I think we should definitely do it again as soon as we can. Yay!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Husayn Tells Me About the Continents

On the way to play school, Husayn kept singing the Continent Song he learned in school recently.

So, I asked him to say it (not sing it) to me...and you!

It might not be anything major, but the stuff he picks from school and everywhere else just never ceases to amaze me especially since I probably wouldn't be able to name all the continents in the first place myself! So now we all know what they are...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Surprise, surprise. I ♥ Surprises

The Cake Sale in the school was a success. Yay! I'll blog about it soon, InshaAllah.

This morning, the minute I closed my front door after coming home from sending Ameera to the bus stop, the doorbell rang. I knew it was Mr. Postman but what could it be? Just an over-sized letter that could not be slipped through the mail slot in my door or was it another one of the free stuff that I registered for?

Mmmmm...what a coincidence as only a few moments before, I spotted the postman from afar and I saw that he had a packet in his hand. Something in my heart told me that maybe the packet could be for me because of errr...the colour of the packet. Hehehe...but seriously, it turned out that it was for me. Addressed to me! Without waiting for long, I opened it and to my surprise, these items were in it:

OK. Surprise, surprise! I am so happy and delighted plus I was lost for words. I love surprises. Well, just good surprises  but I was a bit confused because there was no sender details or whatsoever on the packet. The writing looked like my sister's handwriting. So, without hesitating any longer, I called her straightaway and the answer was

Kak Na...I'm not that sweet to even think to send you that kind of thing... 

Huh...I was disappointed that I couldn't solve my mystery for the day. I knew it couldn't be my mom because the writing's definitely not hers but I know it must be someone who knows me well to at least know my home address here in Ireland. Oh,  and she's/he's (takkan lelaki pulak kan dah tua-tua ni?) definitely from Malaysia, at least according to the stamps on the packet. But no matter who it is, a very big THANK YOU for the lovely gift. It just made my day, Alhamdulillah. I am just so happy and really appreciate it.

Anyway, the other reason why  think that the gift is from someone close to me is because they know my taste or rather, lack of taste in hijabs (oh yeah, a hijab was one the gifts in the packet). My hijabs have always been really old fashioned or at best, never in trend so receiving this type of trendy hijab really made me over the moon. I love to try new things and new styles but most of the time, I just come to the conclusion that it doesn't suit me or I normally end up not having enough confidence in myself to pull something adventurous off. With that in mind, I was doubly happy when after trying on the hijab, I realised that I really like it and it fits me just nicely. Now, I just can't wait to melaram with it.

The sender might not read my blog but whoever it is, Thank You again for the thought.  Love you...muahhh...muahh...Hehehe. I so hope that all the good surprises keep on coming into my life like it has for the past few weeks...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cake Sale at the North Dublin Muslim National School

I have to blog about my daughter's school really soon. It's about the progress of the school and the new building. Ameera just couldn't stop talking about the new building since they moved there last Monday. The following Thursday, we (all the moms of the kids in school) had a coffee morning in the school to discuss a few things that could benefit our children in the school. As a start, we came up with the idea of holding a cake sale in the school on Tuesday, the 15th of February 2011.

So, if you're in Dublin and by any chance, work or live or happen to be near the Navan Road area around 11 in the morning, please drop by the school for a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy a slice of cake as a break. You can enter the school via the Navan Road entrance or the Cabra Road entrance.

Thank you in advance for stopping by. Your time and money is very much appreciated as it means a lot to the kids in school. As for anyone out there, especially Muslims out there who live in Dublin, Ireland who might interested to enroll their kids in the school in the near-future, maybe this is a good chance to have a look at the school for yourself. You won't regret it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

How to make Macarons Anyone?

I've been wanting to write about the Macarons I made since my sister's last visit but forgot about it, until now. Since I've been baking a lot these days and coincidentally, most times I just use egg yolks rather than the whole egg, I normally end up with plenty of egg white in the kitchen. Last Friday, as I had some time free from baking buns, and I had plenty of leftover egg whites, I decided to make some macarons once more.

After a bit of Googling and browsing for tips about macarons, I eventually managed to get it right on the hmm...I don't know, maybe the third time. In my opinion, macarons shouldn't be that easy to make but it's a bit tricky if you don't get the ingredients right first time around. Well, I'll share you the tips later but first, do enjoy pictures of my macarons with Nutella and peanut butter filling (I am just too lazy to make the proper filling from scratch).

These are the recipes:

90 grams egg white
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
110 grams ground almond
200 grams icing/powdered sugar

Whip the egg whites until foamy and add sugar until you have a glossy meringue. Don't overbeat.
Combine  ground almond and powdered sugar and don't be too gentle in folding them in the egg whites. Use a large pastry bag to pipe out the batter on the tray (with parchment paper on it) either using #807 tip or just cut the end of the bag manually. Not too small and not too big. Let them harden for a while and bake for at least 15 minutes in a preheated oven between 150 to 170 degrees. 

Let them cool down and sandwich them with any filling, ganache or spread you like.

Ok these are my tips:
  • Make sure the egg whites have been at room temperature for at least 24 hours beforehand. Mine was on the counter for 3 days and maybe more. To be extra safe, make sure it's kept in an air tight container (well weather in Ireland is very cold these days).
  • Don't over beat as it could turn out to be meringue (crunchy) instead of a macaron (more gooey)
First attempt at macaroon making. I think I over beat it that time.
  • When folding in the powdered sugar and almond, make sure it's folded altogether with the eggs. I whipped my powdered sugar after the egg whites are foamy and glossy for 2 minutes and not so gently folded in ground almond with a spatula.
  • You can used ready made ground almond or you could ground whole almonds yourself. The texture will be the same as long as you grind it properly.
  • When piping out the batter, you can make your own circle template by making one (or a few) with a piece of paper and just put underneath your parchment paper,  if you're afraid that the size will be different. Otherwise don't bother just like me. Hehehe. Get it?
Pic courtesy from Chefinyou or you can download template here
  • Leave them for at least an hour before baking.
  • To loosen the macarons, you can run water behind the parchment paper as soon as it comes out from the oven. Not too much water of course, just enough to wet the paper a bit otherwise you macarons will get soggy. I do this because I think it's kind of hard to do it after it's cooled down and the macarons will crumble if you separate the macaroons from the sheets as soon as it's out from the oven.
  • Let it dry on a wire rack to let it cool down and harden properly. 
  • You can always mix the desired colour and flavour into the recipe but if possible, find the colouring or flavouring in either gel or powdered form because if the mixture is too runny, you won't get the desired texture.
Happy cooking and if you try it, you won't regret it.

It looks and tastes nice anyway!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Nadeen

Happy Birthday to Nadeen from all of us in Dublin
How we wish we could come to your birthday party today. 

We hope you had a good one and can't wait to see you soon. Muaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....
Missing you -Ameera, Husayn and Hisham

On other hand, yesterday on the way to pick up Ameera from the bus stop, I told Husayn about his best(est) friend birthday's today and that she was having a party. Straightaway, he said...

Husayn: Can we go to Malaysia Mummy and go to Nadeen's party? Please, please, please  Mummy, it's Saturday and there's no school. Can we go please? Pretty please?
Mummy: Sorry Husayn but not this time, it's too far. Maybe next year, OK?
Husayn: Awww.... why can't we go? I want to give her a present. Can we get something special Mummy? Games for girls because she will like it so much. And maybe if I go back to Malaysia she can play it with me. OK Mummy. Can we? 
And the questions just kept on coming, non-stop, for much of the day.

How I wish I had the USB cable for my phone so that I can upload the video of his excitement about Nadeen's birthday. Ah well, I know deep inside he misses her still even if he seldom talks about her these days.  He keeps saying that Nadeen is always his best friend and the only 'Girl' friend he has as even in school, he only befriends the boys.

Friday, February 11, 2011

All the Reasons to Why?

My sincerest apologies for not updating my blog regularly lately, not that I am a famous blogger like Hanis Zalikha or her mum Nani Rostam or Fatin Liyana  but for those who really enjoy reading my humble blog, I really appreciate it and I'm sorry that I couldn't concentrate on the blogging. Thanks for your patience and understanding.You guys Rock!

There were just lots of stuff to be done by myself in the house lately. I just can't put my finger on what exactly caused my absence in the cyber realm but the following are a couple of possible reasons:

  • My 2 boys have been really unwell this past week and are just recovering as I write this.
  • I've been awfully busy with all the baking. Alhamdulillah rejeqi!
  • I attended one of those Mothers' Association coffee morning meetings at Ameera's school which eventually took up half a day of my time (Note to self: Need to update the progress of the school soon - very good news actually)
  • There was non-stop house work to be done
  • There was the seemingly constant buying of groceries and other miscellaneous stuff for baking
  • I have less ideas to start an entry and even when I have an idea, I haven't had that much time to sit in front of my laptop in peace to complete it.
  • I need to get a new iPhone(!) USB cable for my handphone (source of most of my photos). Without it I just can't blog. Seriously, I need the thing PRONTO... everytime I want to take a picture, I have to think twice because without the cable the pictures sit useless on my phone. I can't transfer any of it to my laptop anymore. The good thing is, I still have lots pending pictures for the blog on my canggih Sony phone.
  • To support the point above, all the computers in the house are bluetooth-less. :-(
  • Both my laptop and netbook are crap...and so is my husband's laptop. They crash and hang all the time and it takes ages to load web pages, change from one window to another, etc.
  • I need my sleep and have been trying to catch-up on it. Hehehe...
OK, enough typing. I really need to get my self organised and hope my kids will get well soon.

How I wish my personal Bibik was here to help. Why her? Because she's FREE...Hahaha!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Green(?) Velvet Marble Cheese Cake

This was the entry I mentioned yesterday. yeay... finally I get to upload the photos.

I was bored. I had a huge pile of laundry to fold and sort. However, I wasn't in the mood to do it just yet. But it's not like I have the choice to just leave the clothes in semi-organised piles? Anyone want out there care to help? Urrgghh...

Tired at looking at the laundry, I went to the kitchen to find something to eat. I remember coming across this blog entry by Maz. It looks tempting.  I like the idea of topping the cake with cheese cake instead of cheese frosting. So, I gave it a go.

Unfortunately, I realised that I had ran out of red food colouring. Not willing to surrender easily to this small hurdle, I used the only available food colouring - green! Therefore, I am calling my freakish creation, Green Velvet Marble Cheese cake.

I can say that it tastes quite nice. Imagine eating red velvet and cheese cake at the same time.Yummy...and I would just love to add some cream cheese frosting on top of it too and wash it all down with some home-made coffee with Starbucks' Toffee Nut syrup. OMG, that would be waaay to fattening. OK, I'd better stop before I fill myself with tons and tons of cholesterol!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Weird Combination

I wanted to post an entry about the cake that I made on Monday. Unfortunately, my mobile's USB cable couldn't properly connect to the laptop. Urrghhh...I've been trying for the past 2 days but it just doesn't seem to work. There's no Bluetooth on my laptop or any of the other computers in the house. Hmmphh..we're so not up-to-date.

Anyway, I'll give one last try in another way so InshaAllah if possible, I'll put it up tomorrow. Anyway, last night I was too lazy to cook. I still had some beehoon with spices meatball soup leftover from yesterday but I didn't think it would be enough for our dinner. Few weeks ago, I remembered buying some ingredients to make sushi which I had wanted to make for quite a long time. So, in a lightbulb moment, I tried to make some sushi with some leftover tuna mayo from the morning. I think what I eventually ended up making could qualify as California Roll sushi? Emm.. How does one go about making sushi? I honestly don't know but I just followed the instructions at the back of the packet and tadaaa...some sushi for dinner!

The day itself was quite a busy day as we went to town to drop my husband so that he could pick up his scooter from the workshop. I made a detour and stopped by at the Malaysian-owned Oriental Market to buy my favourite sweet soya sauce  - Habhal's Cap Kipas Udang. Unfortunately, the store had run out of stock. Sigh. To make up for the disappointment we went for a coffee at Brambles Cafe and I ended up buying something else from that oriental shop...

I knew I couldn't keep it in the fridge so, I had to cook them straightaway. Eventually, on top of the beehoon, soup and sushi, I had this as well: Razor with chilli inspired by Lady of Leisure for dinner last night.

Nyummm.. what can I say. A weird combination of food but we loved it anyway.
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